Posted on November 12 2014
We're delighted to be shining a light on the fantastic Kathryn Tyler this week. Co-Founder of Digital Mums, which trains mums up to manage social media communities for businesses, Kathryn heads up Business Development and Marketing.
Newnham: Kathryn, tell us about your background.
Tyler: After a short-lived career as a genetic researcher I moved into the field of communications and PR, working for organisations focused on delivering social impact for society's most vulnerable communities. I did this for 10 years before deciding to set up on my own.
Newnham: And what do you do now?
Tyler: I run a social enterprise called Digital Mums with a friend Nikki Cochrane (@niksknik). We retrain unemployed or underemployed mums with in-demand social media skills, and match them to businesses who need access to affordable, flexible social media management.
Maternal unemployment is at a 25-year high and we decided we wanted to do something about it. Skyrocketing childcare costs and a lack of part-time career options make it so difficult for mums to work. The beauty of being a digital mum is you can work from a cafe, or on the sofa in front of the TV in the evening. It's 100% flexible around your family and managing social media is one of the fastest growing digital jobs so it has great career prospects. We’ve built our training course using the most cutting edge teaching methods around, and we match mums with a charity client from day one so that they are able apply what they learn in real time and build those all important client relationship management skills.
Of course, the charity benefits too. It's attractive for businesses because mums make such great social media managers and are often their target demographic. It's also affordable and they can have a few hours a week on one platform or three days a week on four platforms - it's up to them. The businesses we work with just love their mums!
Newnham: What/who is your inspiration?
Tyler: My inspiration is my co-founder Nikki. She always keeps me going - running a start up is incredibly challenging but having her as a co-founder means I love what I do.
Newnham: If you could go back in time, what one piece of advice would you give a younger Kathryn?
Tyler: I come from a chauvinist culture, growing up in a Welsh mining valley. Women took sewing classes while men did woodwork. There were men-only bars all over the place and clear 'rules' about how women should behave (which I flagrantly ignored). I wish I had done more to support other women growing up there to challenge things so I would advise myself to set up a women's group. If I grew up there now I'd run a social media campaign! My mum was out of work for most of my life (as was my dad; it was a tough place to grow up in) and I would have encouraged her to join (the group). I don't think she'd respond to the social media campaign though as she doesn't understand the internet at all and thinks it's the same thing as Microsoft Office Word!